About The Armoires

“Our songs are stories,” says Rex Broome of Burbank, CA duo The Armoires. “Whether they’re dreamlike or straightforward, they always revolve around some kind of narrative, and above all, characters.”

“The way Christina and I trade off lead vocals and come together for harmonies really allows us to bring those characters to life,” he continues. “There’s so much untapped potential in that male/female vocal approach. For all the classic duets in pop music, you don’t hear it much in bands. Fleetwood Mac and X did it brilliantly. The New Pornographers are a big inspiration. Those bands dig into multiple perspectives within a single song, and do it magically. That’s the starting point for The Armoires.”

That blend of literate expressiveness and the sweet and sour harmonies of guitarist Broome and pianist Christina Bulbenko is the thread holding the songs of The Armoires together. Jangly soundscapes like “Magenta Moon” and “Double Blades” sit comfortably next the garage-rock clang of “Norma Corona, What Have You Done?”, the straight country of “Bagfoot Run”, and chamber pop hard luck stories like “Live and Direct”. Touches of new wave, trip hop and the shoegazer sound broaden the pallet still further.

The eclectic musical landscape and emotive core of the band are reflected by its name, coined by Christina. “It was perfect for us! I couldn’t believe it wasn’t being used already,” she laughs. “I imagined this quirky, lovingly crafted but battered piece of furniture. Anything could be inside. Old Halloween costumes, clothes that don’t quite fit anymore, little boxes filled with old ticket stubs and mementos. Anything the people in our lyrics might cherish, but not have the strength to deal with day to day. Our songs are the moments when they open the armoire and delve into the past, the memories they haven’t quite processed, the forgotten joys and suppressed tragedies. We sing those reveries for them.”

After separate and diverse musical careers in LA, Detroit and West Virginia, Rex and Christina met while teaching music for children. Thrown together by a mutual friend in a Talking Heads tribute band, the pair quickly realized their potential as a sort of postpunk Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris and began to develop the repertoire of The Armoires on their own. “Rex asked me to sing Blondie covers with his band, I was taking Tina Weymouth-style bass lessons from him, and we just ended up talking about the songs and songwriters we loved. We started singing together at rehearsals and karaoke, and our voices clicked. It just seemed natural for us to collaborate on our own material.”

Augmented as a full band by a talented coterie of family, friends, and collaborators, The Armoires are putting the finishing touches on a debut album and embarking on a series of shows around LA and the San Fernando Valley.   “It comes back to the name of the band,” says Rex. “We’re opening up the closet door, and all this wonderful and frightening baggage is going to spill out in our music. I think most people in the audience are going to recognize some of their own stuff amongst all that memorabilia. And that’s what songs are for.”

1 Comment

  1. Lydia

    Awesome!!!! All the best to you, Rex and everyone involved in this incredible project. I look forward to the time when your album becomes available.